King Zog was a curiosity, and so he has remained: the most unusual European monarch of the twentieth century, a Muslim entirely without royal connections who created his own kingdom. By contemporaries, he was variously labelled 'the last ruler of romance', 'an appalling gangster', 'the modern Napoleon', the finest patriot' and 'frankly a cad'. Even today his reputation is disputed, but Zog was undeniably one of the foremost figures in Albanian history. Though notorious for cut-throat political intrigue, he promised to bring order and progress to a land that had long known little of either. 'It was I who made Albania,' he claimed.This biography shows Zog as the product of a unique time and place. People who live in secure, stable countries are invited to set aside their assumptions about European monarchy and meet a king who fired back at assassins and paid his bills with gold bars. Jason Hunter Tomes is a lecturer in British History at Boston University. His background is in modern history and his previous publications include Balfour and Foreign Policy.